BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said that Virat Kohli’s decision to step down from T20 captaincy after the ongoing World Cup was his “own decision” and there was no pressure from the cricket board. Kohli had recently announced that he would be only be available as a player in the shortest format after the World Cup. Ganguly attributed Kohli’s call to the gruelling schedule that takes a toll on both mind and body. “No I was surprised. It was a decision perhaps he took after the England series, and it’s his decision. Neither did we speak to Virat nor did we put any pressure, we never pressurise anyone. I have been a player and I would never do such a thing,” Ganguly told ‘Aaj Tak’.
He then explained the rationale behind Kohli’s decision. “There are more games now and it’s difficult to captain for such a long time across formats. I have myself been a captain (for five years).
“It looks good from the outside that you are leading your nation and it is at one level. There is lot of fame and respect but internally, the player has a mental and physical burn-out and it’s not about Ganguly, Dhoni or Virat. Even the captains who come in future will also feel the pressure. It’s a tough job,” he said.
Talking about Kohli not getting even a single international hundred in last two years, Ganguly said that any great player, who has played for a long time, goes through this phase.
“It will happen (bad patch). A player who has played for long time, Virat in fact has played for 11 years (13 actually), every season won’t be the same. Virat is a human and not a machine. It’s not that you put him in a machine and runs will flow, he is human, who would nick a few, footwork will be iffy …
“The graph was up and then it came down and it will again go up and you will see the vintage Virat,” he explained.
Ganguly felt that there is nothing wrong in having Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the ‘Team Mentor’ as he has won three ICC trophies.
“Me and secretary Jay (Shah) had long discussion on how to involve Dhoni. Look, he hasn’t left competitive cricket so he can’t be involved for a long time. It is only for this tournament. He has won 3 World Cups (ICC trophies), so we thought of adding him and we hope it would only be a good thing. Nothing wrong in it. Let’s see,” he said.
Asked if there could be clash of ideas with so many people in the change room, Ganguly clarified that Ravi Shastri as the head coach remains in charge.
“MS is a matured person. He knows where to stop and where to go, all these things were discussed before bringing him on board,” he said.
The BCCI president and also a former India captain, Ganguly said that his one-time deputy Rahul Dravid had come to Dubai to discuss the roadmap for the National Cricket Academy.
“He came to Dubai to meet us and discuss the roadmap for NCA. I think in Indian cricket, NCA’s role is huge, its about supply line and that’s what he wanted to discuss. When we had asked him earlier, he wasn’t that interested. Let’s see now, if he applies (for the head coach job),” he added.
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